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Melanoma March

Australia’s largest melanoma campaign returns to physical events after a two year COVID-induced hiatus

Communities across the country, including Crescent Head, urged to turn out in force and join their local Melanoma March to help recoup a $1.5 million shortfall in funding for melanoma research

Not-for-profit organisation Melanoma Institute Australia (MIA) is calling on all Australians to join its Melanoma March campaign to raise awareness and funds to combat one of Australia’s biggest killers.

This year is the 11th anniversary of the national Melanoma March fundraising campaign, which is needing to raise $1 million to support a world-first personalised immunotherapy clinical trial for advanced melanoma patients.

Currently, 50% of advanced melanoma patients don’t respond to, or develop resistance to the immunotherapy treatment which saves others. The clinical trial is to test a Personalised Immunotherapy Platform designed to ensure these patients get effective treatment the first time, based on their own genetics and tumour biology.

COVID saw the cancellation of the traditional family-friendly physical Melanoma March events for last two years, resulting in a $1.5million shortfall in funding and making this year’s campaign more important than ever.

‘We are looking forward to welcoming our much loved community back to local Melanoma March events around the country,’ said MIA CEO Matthew Browne. ‘Not only did the COVID cancellations mean we couldn’t gather to support each other and remember loved ones, but we also were left with a $1.5 million fundraising shortfall.

‘So this year’s campaign is critical to ensure the world-first personalised immunotherapy clinical trial can get underway, which has the potential to transform cancer treatment globally.’

Australia has the highest melanoma rates in the world with one person diagnosed with the disease every 30 minutes. One Australian dies from melanoma every 6 hours, and it is the most common cancer affecting 20 to 39 year old Australians.

Renee Darling, 41, from Crescent Head knows too well the impact of melanoma on families. When she was 24 years old Renee was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma after a mole was removed from the back of her leg. Her daughter was only 10 weeks old, and she was given a 40-60% chance of survival. A sentinel node biopsy led to her needing extensive surgery to remove the remaining lymph nodes from her groin where a cluster of tumours were found. Her surgery was part of the 60 Minutes story that aired in February of 2005, Dying for a Tan, she was one of four patients including a man in his 50’s, a young father at 28, and a 16-year-old boy. Renee was the only survivor.

Renee is one of key organisers for the Melanoma March Crescent Head on Sunday 20th March, and she is urging the local community to step up as well. ‘The aim of the event is for a lovely community atmosphere where people can “march” in memory of those lost or suffering from this insidious disease. Melanoma is a silent killer that is killing one Australian every six hours.’

‘We wanted to help raise further awareness of melanoma and make a difference. It’s so important to protect the skin you’re in,’ said Renee. ‘With COVID having affected the fundraising efforts of last year’s Melanoma March, it’s exciting that we can once again march and bring the community together for those who have been affected by melanoma. Through raising funds for critical research and generating awareness we can take steps to beat this horrible disease. ‘

Kempsey Crescent Head Surf Lifesaving Club will host a local band .edu and families and community members are encouraged to enjoy a beachside picnic or enjoy the beautiful view and live music from upstairs at their popular “Sunday Sippers” whilst continuing to aid in the fundraising efforts.

‘I now continue to regularly monitor my skin and visit the Melanoma Institute Australia each year for my indefinite annual check-up. My message to all is – we need to protect our skin by being smart in the sun so we can be safe in the sun.’

‘I am confident our communities from across Australia, including those from Crescent Head will step up and support this year’s Melanoma March campaign,’ added Mr Browne.

Those who can’t attend a physical event are encouraged to March Your Way and support the campaign by getting active with a group of friends or individually.

To register or donate to Melanoma March, go to

Melanoma March is an initiative of Melanoma Institute Australia, incorporating melanomaWA and Amie St Clair. It is proudly supported by Melanoma Patients Australia, Australian Melanoma Research Foundation, Skin Cancer Tasmania and other melanoma research organisations across Australia.

Melanoma March is also supported by MIA’s Corporate Partner Ego Sunsense.

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Durante |Melanoma Institute Australia | 0412 798 990 |




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